Instant Messages

By Andrew Confer, as told to Miles T. Tuason

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    The Answer in the Book

    “Elder Confer, teach me,” said the voice on the other end of the line, “but don’t teach me about the Book of Mormon.” Christine Yong, our new investigator, was wanting to know more about our religion.

    As missionaries in the Singapore Mission, my companion and I were excited to have an investigator like Christine. She and her sister Sara seemed to be sincerely interested in the gospel. But during the weeks we had shared the gospel with them, they had some doubts about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We weren’t about to give up on them though, so we set up another appointment.

    I went with our branch mission leader, Patrick Lim, while my companion went with another member to other appointments. Brother Lim and I planned to teach Christine about repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. We usually invited people to be baptized when we talked about baptism. But both of us wondered, given all the challenges she was facing, whether Christine would be ready for baptism. We prayed for the Spirit before meeting with her.

    During the discussion, Christine seemed to understand repentance and baptism. But as Brother Lim taught about receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, Christine voiced her concerns.

    “Elders, I’m not sure if God is there and if He would really answer my prayer,” she hesitantly admitted.

    We described to her the calm, peaceful feelings the Spirit brings, but she wasn’t familiar with the influence of the Holy Ghost. She had tried to pray and read the scriptures, but things just didn’t seem to be coming together.

    For a moment, we were at a loss for answers. Then a scripture came to my mind, and I felt impressed to share it, even though it was in the Book of Mormon—the book she had requested us not to teach from. I asked Christine to read Ether 12:6: “I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”

    As I explained that our faith in the Lord is tested before we receive an answer from Heavenly Father, I felt the Spirit strongly in my heart. I prayed Christine would feel it too. And she did.

    “I’m so touched. I’m really very touched,” Christine said, as tears flowed down her cheeks.

    “This is the Spirit, Christine. This is what the Spirit feels like,” Brother Lim and I said as tears started to flow down our cheeks too.

    After we had shared that verse with her and taught her further, Christine accepted our invitation and was soon baptized.

    My Turning Point

    I grew up a member of the Church in Belize, but I wasn’t always a faithful follower of the Lord. My family was among the first members in Belize, but we had many trials. My father left us, leaving my mother jobless with three kids.

    My mother’s faith in the Lord allowed us to overcome our trials. My mom worked hard to support us and to bring us to the Lord, but I had to gain a testimony for myself. For a time I chose wrong paths, mainly because of the company I spent my time with. They influenced me to draw away from—rather than near to—the Lord.

    My turning point was when I started to spend most of my time with youth of the Church. I witnessed the marvelous spirit they had. It brought an unusual joy in my life. Seeing my friends going out to serve the Lord on their missions brought an even greater spirit.

    Serving a mission was the last thing on my mind until I decided to turn to the Lord in prayer to find out if this was the way for me. As I prayed I felt the Holy Spirit’s power bursting in my heart. I have never before witnessed such marvelous power. It led me to know that a mission was right for me. I talked to my branch president, prepared spiritually and financially, and later served a full-time mission.

    I can now say without any doubt that I know that this is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and that President Gordon B. Hinckley is a living prophet, seer, and revelator, called by God to declare His word and to bring all people to our Heavenly Father’s fold. As Moroni said, you need to read the Book of Mormon, ponder it in your heart, pray, and you will receive answers to the questions in your heart (see Moro. 10:3–5).

    [illustrations] Illustrated by Justin Kunz